I take a shower and throw on a red shirt, black leather jacket, jeans and black boots. Peter's already left for work at the factory. He's hoping once he finishes college he can be a doctor, but for now the aluminum factory will have to do. I look at the wall clock, just ten minutes. I'm eating an egg sandwich, not much else to eat because Peter doesn't like cereal. By my feet my duffel bag holds my soccer cleats, shinguards and socks, along with my books and papers. One of my papers falls out, I smile to myself, my math homework.
I hear the doorbell ring and grab my stuff to meet Chason at the door. I open the door, but not to Chason, to a man in a tee shirt, khakis, and glasses, he has very pale skin and bleach blonde hair like mine. Dad.
"What do you want?" Dad hasn't bugged us in years, except when he bothers to send us a birthday card. I never want to see him again, but I don"t have control over it.
"Watch your mouth, girl," he snaps, "This is my house, I can come and go as I please." I want to snap back and tell him that legally it's Peter's, but I hold my tongue. He pushes past me and into the kitchen, he's roaming around the fridge, gathering our food.
"Get your paws off our food! What's wrong with you?" He turns around and smacks my mouth, it does't hurt, but it stings enough to make my hand fly to the spot he hit.
"I put food on this table for you, I put the food in the fridge, I can take whatever I want."
"No, you can't! This is our food! Peter and I work for it, the only thing you do is send the care check once a year!" He turns around with fiery eyes, ready to attack me. I've grown used to this. He pulls his hand back, grabbing my arm with the other, ready to hit me again harder than before. I close my eyes, and turn my head ready for the blow. I feel tears forming.
"Stop!" We both look at the door, Chason. "Touch that girl and I will call the cops!"
"Who's this?" He's furious, he's going to blow, "Get out of my house! Don't tell me how to raise my daughter! Get out before I teach you respect too!" He doesn't leave, Dad's grip on my arm becomes even tighter, making me cry out. I already know a bruise is forming.
"Let her go." Chason steps closer to us, he's pushing the limits. Dad starts to walk toward him, yanking me along with him.
"Just go! I'm okay!" He does the exact opposite, he comes toward us and tries to yank my arm away. Dad easily kicks him over, he throws me to the side, I lose my balance and crash into the coffee table, hitting my head on the corner. Once I refocus I see Dad beating Chason, just as he does to me and used to do with Peter. All of us have runners' bodies from soccer, while Dad has a bodybuilder's. I have to stop this.
I run upstairs and text Peter, Help, it's Dad. I run down stairs with my shotgun. "Get out of my house." I say as forcefully as I can, but my voice shakes. Dad looks up at me, then to the gun. "According to law, I can kill you if you trespass on my property, especially if you harm me."
"You wouldn't dare." In response I aim my gun the way Peter showed me and shoot at the vase a few feet to his left, the pieces shatter and scatter around the room, I reload my gun.
"Get out before I aim at you." He scrambles away from Chason and out the front door. Chason looks back at me, I probably look like a mess. I am a mess. I drop the gun and sink to the floor and sob.